Coyote warning after small dog killed in Kincardine
South Bruce OPP are asking residents to take precautions after a number of encounters with coyotes in the Town of Kincardine.
In one incident last Tuesday, Nov. 19, OPP were called to an confrontation on Pearce Lane around 4:30 p.m.that resulted in the death of a small dog.
Frank Pearce says one of his dogs was snatched and killed by a coyote in broad daylight, "The coyote had him right over here and the guy had tried to run over him with his car, and of course the coyote ran into the bush there. And by the time I came out the dog was lying there pretty well eaten up...it was very emotional."
And Pearce's dog isn't the only victim, he says he knows of at least two more taken recently and calls the incidents "very disturbing."
There have been 12 sightings reported to police in November, but the OPP, municipality and the Ministry of Natural Resources say there isn't much they can do about the coyote problem, other than monitor it.
Provincial police say it's important to remember that coyotes are intelligent, adaptable and opportunistic feeders that consume a variety of foods and their populations fluctuate in response to the availability of food.
South Bruce OPP Const. Kevin Martin says "The coyote at the end of the day is a hunter looking for a food source. If in fact the population has expanded, perhaps the food supplies are a little more scarce."
Coyotes prefer to avoid people, but police say there are things people can do to help prevent encounters including:
- eliminating potential food sources – keep pet food indoors, store garbage in secure containers, use enclosed composting bins, pick ripe fruit from trees and collect fruit from the ground, protect gardens with heavy duty fences
- clear dense bushes that a coyote could take shelter in
- use motion sensor lights
- close off spaces under porches, decks, sheds or anywhere that could be used as a den
If you do encounter a coyote, police suggest:
- don’t turn your back or run
- remain calm and back away slowly
- stand tall, wave your hands and make noise
As for Pearce, he is watching his remaining dog closely, "I'm scared to let her go now, I never let her out on her own now."
He already tried and failed to shoot the coyote that killed his first dog, but police say that's not the best solution.
"Perhaps live trapping, perhaps, who knows, but vigilantism is not the way to go," Martin says.
Anyone interested in more information on coyotes can visit the Ministry of Natural Resources website at: http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/